Home Forums Sci Fi General Sci-Fi Aotrs Shipyards: Manoeuvre Group Sci-Fi Release!

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    Avatar photoAotrs Commander

    Aotrs Shipyards Manoeuvre Group Sci-Fi Release

    Finally, after a lot of work, I can present you the release of Manoeuvre Group Sci-Fi! (Just scraping by in time for Other Partizan on Sunday!)

    This is a free expansion for Manoeuvre Group, available for download from Wargames Vault here.


    Let me begin with the official product description:

    Manoeuvre Group Sci-Fi Expansion

    (Requires Manoeuvre Group rules)


    All Arms (or appendages) Ground Combat for Sci-Fi

    Manoeuvre Group Sci-fi primarily supports 1/144th (10 or 12mm) and 1/72 (25mm), but can be used with almost any scale (including 1/76, 100th (15mm), 28mm (and up) even 1/300th (6mm) with appropriate terrain density).

    146 pages

    Manoeuvre Group goes into the future! This free expansion for Manoeuvre Group brings additional rules for sci-fi technologies – shields, energy weapons, advanced warheads, grav tanks, heroes and robotic infantry to name but a few inclusions.

    As with Manoeuvre Group itself, the emphasis remains ultimately on manoeuvre, awareness and tactics, facilitating a simulation of real-world armoured combat tactics and strategies, but with a more sci-fi flavour.

    A dozen sample forces range the gamut from mundane ultra-modern to high technology and even high-magic forces; this also includes sci-fi-ised versions of modern armour so you can jump straight in with your contemporary forces! These sample forces also serve as the benchmarks for creating or adapting your own chosen forces for play.


    • Sample Stats and force organisations for 12 powers (corresponding to the Aotrs Shipyards range of models)

    • Three scenarios

    • Guidelines for creating your own forces and scenarios

    • Battlefield magic rules provide a framework to allow the implementation of any form of paranatural effect, from magic itself, through psionics or other forms of mystical power.

    • Printer and kindle friendly

    MG Sci-Fi has been written as a spin-off project over the course of the development Manoeuvre Group itself over the last couple of decades and this first public release is up to date with Issue 2 of the MG rules.


    While this is the first full release, MG Sci-Fi is not exactly new, since I started playing with it as soon and MG itself was started to be written. (In fact the scenario numbering switched straight from the Stargrunt II scenarios we were using before.) So it has been played, on and off, for nearly twenty years. (The scenario for Other Partizan at the weekend, a re-construction of the cover image, will be scenario #96.)

    Like Manoeuvre Group itself, the emphasis, despite the addition of sensors, shields and energy weapons, is still on manoeuvre, terrain and utilising real-world tactics. This is, *despite* the inclusion of magic, still fairly hard sci-fi. In fact, it has become increasingly clear that the rules written for MG Sci-fi have ended up playing like ultra-moderns! (Drones, precision weapons, active tank defences etc. Life – or perhaps more on-brand, unlife – mirrors art…!)


    So, what is in here?

    About forty pages of additional rules for Manoeuvre Group, dealing with all the additional technologies (and in some cases, such as our titular Aotrs magical-space-liches, magic).

    The latter hundred or so pages of the 146 are devoted to the sample army lists and forces, of which there are 12. The first one is composed entirely of sci-fi-ised versions of modern armour*. This follows the great tradition on Me Being The Only One With A 28mm Sci-Fi Army and fighting against author’s moderns forces.

    These are the “official” stats for the Aotrs Shipyards models, for the usual value around here where “official” is entirely optional. But, even if you don’t play MG itself, I hope that having the stats available will help in conversion to other systems if you were to so chose, even if only by telling you what the design intention behind said models was.

    These forces serve as the benchmarks for creating your own stats and forces. You are, of course, encouraged to use stand-ins, file the serial numbers off the existing stats.


    Couple of points to address, in that what *isn’t* in here. (I may be shooting myself a bit in the foot saying this (because I’m probably too honest for my own good), but I’d rather do that than have people have expectations and be disappointed!) But the advantage of the expansion being free is you can look for yourself and decide whether it looks like your cup of tea of not.

    There is only the most cursory inclusion of the lore/fluff/background here. (If that is to get a full release, leaving aide that it would be a task of another order of magnitude of effort, as well as easily doubling the page count.) As always, instead the accompanying lore remains publically available on the Bleakbane’s Galaxy Guide thread over at Spacebattles.com here.  If you are interested, please feel free to have a look, read and comment (please!), and make use of the threadmarks feature to look at individual articles.

    This is a game based for scenarios, where terrain is a major factor, along with player skill. As it is so solidly rooted in real-world armour, it was not feasible to make a concrete stat generation system (as that would have likewise requires an attempt to re-build modern armour engineering and then expand into future technology!) However, this has left the room for the stats to be as diverse and organic as those of real-world armour.

    Likewise, there is no points-value system for determining armies. The sample force lists and scenarios exists to give you a starting point for your own games; these are themselves based on the real-world army organisations from base MG itself.

    Fair warning: MG is, ultimately, a tactics simulator, made by two very keen experts in their fields (one military expert, one mathematical modelling expert). It is very much the Paradox-Grand-Strategy-Game-equivalent wargame, played on ironman with max difficulty settings**. (The MG authors themselves describe MG as “geeky”.) I use that analogy deliberately, since it is the sort of game that asks an analogues sort of investment of interest and time. While the rules are not too difficult to grasp (they are harder to explain than they are to play), the tactics and the adjustment of mindset from more traditional games can be quite demanding. It will likely take a couple of games before you start to get your head around the paradigm. MG Sci-Fi layers an additional level of mechanical complexity on top. If you prefer more relaxed/casual (and I use that word guardedly, but can’t think of a better way to phrase it) set of rules – more akin to Full Thrust’s stated “six-pack-and-boldly-go,” you might find it asks a bit much for you.



    As always I’m open to comment and discussion (and anyone spotting anything that needs to be errata’d naturally!)


    If there is interest, we have discussed the possibility of making a stand-alone version of MG Sci-Fi available by basically combined the two sets of rules into a single document (which would cost the same as core MG), but that’s a fair bit of work for convenience and to start with, I wanted the expansion out for free, where people can look at it and at least have some idea of the sort of game it is!

    *I should note that these stats are independent of the available models in the MG Models Shipyards ranges, though there is some overlap. One of the projects I want to look at next is to make master stat block list of all the moderns so that we can build a matching database of stats for the MG moderns (and potentially sci-fi-ised versions), but that’s dependant on the MG team getting me the army list to work with.

    **Cruel souls might make a comparison to Aurora 4X, but I would disagree; we are at least the graphical analogue of Dwarf Fortress!

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